What Not to Feed Wild Birds: Foods to Avoid

What Not to Feed Wild Birds: Foods to Avoid

As bird lovers, it’s natural to want to provide food for our feathered friends. However, not all food is suitable for wild birds and some can actually be harmful. It’s important to understand what not to feed wild birds in order to ensure their health and well-being. In this guide, we’ll discuss some common foods that are not recommended for wild birds and why.

What Not to Feed Wild Birds: Foods to AvoidWhat Not to Feed Wild Birds

  • Bread and other processed foods: While birds may seem to enjoy eating bread and other processed foods, these foods are not nutritionally beneficial for them. They can cause digestive problems and can fill the birds up without providing proper nutrients.
  • Milk and other dairy products: Birds cannot digest dairy products due to their lack of enzymes to break down lactose. Feeding them milk or other dairy products can lead to digestive issues and can even be fatal.
  • Salted or salty foods: Birds do not require salt in their diets and too much salt can be harmful to them. Salt can lead to dehydration and can also cause electrolyte imbalances in birds.
  • Junk food: Just like humans, junk food is not a nutritious option for birds. Foods such as chips, cookies, and candy are high in fat, sugar, and salt, which can be harmful to birds and can lead to obesity, diabetes, and other health problems.
  • Avocado: Avocado contains a substance called persin, which can be toxic to birds and can lead to heart and respiratory problems. It is best to avoid feeding avocados to birds.
  • Chocolate: Chocolate contains theobromine, which is toxic to many animals including birds. It can cause vomiting, diarrhea, and even death in birds.
  • Raw or undercooked meat: Birds are not natural predators and cannot easily digest raw or undercooked meat. These foods can also contain harmful bacteria that can make birds sick.
  • Alcohol: Just like humans, birds can get intoxicated from consuming alcohol. This can lead to disorientation, dehydration, and even death.
  • Caffeine: Foods and drinks containing caffeine, such as coffee, tea, and energy drinks, are not suitable for birds. Caffeine can cause heart palpitations, tremors, and even death in birds.
  • 1Moldy or spoiled foods: Moldy or spoiled foods can contain harmful toxins that can make birds sick. It is essential to only feed fresh and clean foods to birds.

It is crucial to understand that wild birds have specific dietary needs that are different from domesticated animals. Offering them the wrong foods can have detrimental effects on their health and well-being. It is best to stick to natural foods that mimic their natural diet in the wild, such as seeds, nuts, fruits, and insects. Always make sure to provide clean and fresh water for birds to drink as well. By avoiding feeding them the wrong foods, you can help keep wild birds healthy and thriving.

What are Wild Birds?

Wild birds are birds that are not domesticated or kept as pets, and they live freely in their natural habitat. They are also called “wildlife birds” or “native birds”. These birds can be found in a variety of habitats such as forests, wetlands, grasslands, and deserts.

Unlike domesticated birds, wild birds do not rely on humans for food or shelter and are able to find their own resources in the wild. They have adapted to their environment and have developed unique characteristics and behaviors that help them survive in the wild.

There are thousands of different species of wild birds, each with their own distinct characteristics and adaptations. Some of the most commonly known wild birds include eagles, hawks, owls, sparrows, robins, hummingbirds, and pelicans. They play an important role in the ecosystem by pollinating flowers, controlling insect populations, and providing food for other animals.

Wild birds face many threats in the wild, including habitat destruction, pollution, and climate change. Conservation efforts are important to protect these birds and ensure their survival in the wild. Many people also enjoy watching and studying wild birds, making them a popular subject for birdwatching and scientific research.

SEE ALSO: Is Bird Seed Bad For Dogs?

Can Birds Eat Raisins?

Yes, birds can eat raisins. Raisins are a nutritious snack for birds and can provide them with energy and essential vitamins and minerals. However, it is important to feed them in moderation as they are high in sugar. It is also important to make sure the raisins are fresh and not moldy or spoiled. Additionally, it is important to offer a varied diet to birds, so they get all the nutrients they need.

10 Things That Can Kill Your Birdowls 2

  1. Poisonous Plants: Many common household and garden plants, such as lilies, azaleas, and ivy, can be highly toxic to birds if ingested. It is important to research potential dangers and keep your bird away from any potentially poisonous plants in your home or yard.
  2. Toxic Household Chemicals: Household cleaners, insecticides, and other chemicals can be lethal to birds if they come into contact with them. Make sure to store these items safely and use them in well-ventilated areas while your bird is safely in a separate room.
  3. Non-Stick Cookware: The fumes released from overheated non-stick cookware can be deadly to birds. When heated to high temperatures, the coating can emit toxic gases that are harmful to birds’ respiratory systems.
  4. Smoke and Fumes: Smoke from cigarettes, candles, or incense can be very harmful to birds’ sensitive respiratory systems. It is best to avoid smoking or using strong-scented products in the same room as your bird.
  5. Electrical Cords: Birds are naturally curious and may be attracted to chew on electric cords, leading to electrocution. Ensure that all cords are out of reach or covered with a protective casing.
  6. Ceiling Fans: If a bird is allowed to fly freely in a room with an active ceiling fan, it could lead to fatal injuries. Keep your bird safely in a cage or in a separate room when ceiling fans are in use.
  7. Toxic Foods: Some foods that are perfectly safe for humans, such as avocados, chocolate, and caffeine, can be toxic to birds. It is essential to research and avoid feeding your bird any potentially harmful foods.
  8. Predators: If your bird is allowed to fly outside, they are at risk of being caught by a predator such as a hawk, cat, or dog. Keep an eye on your birds at all times when they are outside, or consider keeping them in a safe and secure enclosure.
  9. Lack of Appropriate Care: Birds require a lot of specialized care and attention to maintain their physical and emotional well-being. Neglecting their needs, including proper diet, exercise, and socialization, can have serious consequences for their health.
  10. Other Pets: If you have other pets in your home, they may pose a risk to your bird. Dogs and cats can view birds as prey, and even seemingly harmless interactions can result in accidental injuries or death. Always supervise interactions between pets and birds and provide safe and separate spaces.

What Can Kill a Bird Instantly?

  • Chocolate
  • Avocado
  • Onions
  • Alcohol
  • Caffeine
  • Wild mushrooms
  • Cherry pits
  • Apple seeds
  • Peach and plum pits
  • Garlic
  • Salt
  • Rhubarb leaves
  • Dairy products
  • High-fat/salty snacks
  • Uncooked/raw beans and legumes
  • Fruit seeds and pits
  • Uncooked eggs
  • Alcohol-based sauces and marinades
  • Foods high in preservatives and additives
  • Artificial sweeteners.

How To Feed Wild Birdsowls 4

  1. Feeding wild birds can be a fun and rewarding experience for bird lovers. Here are the steps to follow to successfully feed wild birds:
  2. Choose the right type of food: Different species of birds have different dietary needs, so it’s important to choose a birdseed mix that is suitable for the type of birds in your area. You can also offer other types of food such as suet, mealworms, and fruits.
  3. Choose the right feeder: The type of feeder you use will determine which types of birds will be attracted to your bird feeding station. Some popular options include tube feeders, hopper feeders, platform feeders, and suet feeders.
  4. Place the feeder in the right location: It’s important to place the feeder in a safe and convenient location for both the birds and yourself. A spot that is easily accessible for refilling and cleaning, but also offers shelter and protection from predators, is ideal.
  5. Keep the feeder clean: It’s important to regularly clean your bird feeder to prevent the spread of disease. Use a mild soap and water solution to clean the feeder and rinse thoroughly before refilling.
  6. Provide fresh water: Birds need fresh water for drinking and bathing. You can add a birdbath or simply place a shallow dish of water near the feeder.
  7. Be consistent: Wild birds rely on a consistent food source, so it’s important to keep your feeder well-stocked throughout the year. In the winter, this is crucial for the survival of many species.
  8. Monitor the feeder: Keep an eye on the feeder to make sure it is not attracting unwanted visitors such as rodents or squirrels. If necessary, you can consider adding squirrel-proofing measures to your feeder.
  9. Offer variety: To attract a diverse range of bird species, consider offering a variety of foods in different types of feeders. This will also make the feeding experience more interesting and enjoyable for you.
  10. Discontinue feeding during nesting season: It’s important to stop feeding wild birds during nesting season, typically in the spring and summer. This will encourage birds to forage for food naturally and avoid overcrowding in nesting areas.

When To Feed Wild Birds

It is recommended to feed wild birds year-round, especially during times when food sources may be scarce, such as in the winter. However, it is important to keep in mind that birds have natural instincts and will still migrate or adjust their feeding habits according to their needs. It is important to also provide a consistent and reliable source of food and to clean bird feeders regularly to prevent the spread of diseases.

SEE ALSO: Do Fake Owls Keep Birds Away?


Q. Is garlic harmful to birds?

A. Yes, garlic is harmful to birds. It is toxic and can lead to organ damage and even death if they consume large amounts.

Q. Can birds eat Quaker Oats?

A. Yes, birds can eat Quaker Oats, but it is not recommended as it is not a natural or nutritious part of their diet. They should primarily consume foods that are suitable for their species.

Q. Is bread bad for the birds?

A. In small quantities, bread is not harmful to birds. However, if it makes up a large portion of their diet, it can lead to malnutrition or digestive issues. It is better to feed birds a variety of seeds, nuts, fruits, and insects that are more nutritionally beneficial for them.

Q. Can birds eat porridge oats?

A. Yes, birds can eat porridge oats. However, they may not be a natural part of a bird’s diet and may not provide the necessary nutritional value.


In conclusion, it is important to be cautious about what we feed wild birds. While it may be tempting to offer them human food or scraps, it can have negative effects on their health and behavior. Birds have specific nutritional needs that should be met with a balanced and natural diet. Instead of feeding them human food, consider providing them with appropriate birdseed, fruits, and insects. Additionally, it is essential to avoid feeding them foods that can be harmful, such as bread, processed meats, and salty or sugary snacks. By being mindful of what not to feed wild birds, we can help protect their well-being and support a healthier ecosystem.

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